The new Indian government will unveil more reforms in the coming days, including in the forthcoming budget this month to woo foreign investment and make India a manufacturing destination, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said.
Addressing a gathering of the Indian diaspora in Muscat, capital of Oman, Swaraj said numerous initiatives have been announced starting with Prime Minister’s ‘Make in India’ campaign to make India an investment and manufacturing destination.
Similarly, the last Budget in 2014 had set up an NRI Fund to clean and develop river Ganga and the government has embarked on the Digital India programme.
The Government has invited both foreigners and NRI entrepreneurs to come and join in these efforts, she said while on her first visit to the oil-rich Gulf nation.
“A number of reforms have been implemented. More are on the anvil, including in the forthcoming budget later this month,” Swaraj said last night without specifying the new reforms to be announced.
She highlighted the government’s 100 Smart Cities project which was open for participation. Further, foreign investment caps have been eased in construction, railways and defence sectors, the minister said.
“The new government is committed to development with transparency and good governance. We are striving to revive growth. The impact is already evident in the green shoots of recovery and a positive, even upbeat, business sentiment in the country,” she said.
The senior BJP leader also said the last general election was a landmark one in which the people gave an absolute majority to a single party after three decades.
“India firmly believes that overseas Indian must be a part of the India growth story,” the minister said while lauding the role of NRIs in boosting India’s economic growth.
“Your sustained remittances over the years have contributed to our foreign exchange reserves and are a valuable livelihood source for millions of dependents in India. India is a recipient of the largest global remittances
sent by the expatriate populations anywhere in the world and the Gulf region is the largest source of these remittances for us,” she said.
Swaraj’s maiden visit to Oman comes as the two countries are gearing up to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties this year. The minister also unveiled a logo to mark the 60th anniversary of bilateral ties with Oman.
In her speech, the minister lauded the Omani leadership, especially the King Sultan Qaboos for hosting Indian citizens.
“Oman is in the forefront of GCC countries in terms of offering expatriates not just a good quality of life but also with regard to freedom to practice one’s faith and fulfilment of other cultural rights,” she said.
“I would like to emphasise that each one of you as members of the vibrant Indian community has done proud to your motherland. Our Government realises your potential to contribute not only to India’s economy but also to the international profile of India. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to each one of you for your contribution to strengthen our relations with Oman,” she added.